French far-right veteran Jean-Marie Le Pen is taking on his daughter, Marine Le Pen, who now heads the National Front (FN) party.
Jeane-Marie Le Pen said on August 25 that his newly-formed party, the Comites Jeanne movement, would field candidates in next year’s parliamentary elections. This is a direct challenge to his daughter who excluded him from the FN party, which he founded.
As reported by the Reuters news agency, he said he would not hesitate to field candidates in constituencies where the FN is running, which would diminish the chances of any far-right candidate to win seats in France’s lower house of parliament. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for June next year, after presidential polls in April and May.
Marine Le Pen forced her 88-year-old father out of the party last year over comments playing down the Nazi Holocaust. The feud burst into the open after she sought to soften the anti-immigration party’s image to help her quest for power.
“I call on all the people who think, as I do, that the line defended by the National Front is not what it used to be, to join me,” said Jeane-Marie Le Pen.
According to Reuters, while Marine’s growing popularity has not suffered from her father’s expulsion, opinion polls suggest she will lose a run-off vote whether it be against a centre-right or a centre-left candidate.